CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — All members of a household can be impacted by the domestic violence, including pets. One Chattanooga animal shelter is making sure animals are cared for in these situations.
At McKamey Animal Center there are pets from all different backgrounds and situations. For three years, McKamey has been helping animals from households with domestic abuse.
“Well the Angel Fund has multiple purposes, but one of its purposes is to help provide veterinary care and help provide for boarding for animal victims of domestic violence victims so that we actually take in those animals and care for them and the Angel Fund provides the means for which we do that,” said Jamie McAloon, executive director at McKamey Animal Center.
Some don’t realize animals suffer as well.
“That’s probably one of the most forgotten pieces of domestic violence and actually multiple studies tell us that between 49 and 71 percent of battered women tell us that their animals have either been threatened harmed or killed,” McAloon said.
Even if the pet isn’t being physically abused, McAloon says the environment isn’t a calming place.
“When you are in a household where there is continued violence, where there is just verbal abuse or whatever, it is still very stressful animals and the constant and continual threat to those animals is very difficult for the children to endure, because very often the animals are used as a tool to control the children,” McAloon said.
After completing the program most of the pets eventually go back to their original owners, but not always.
“Someone of them find out after awhile that it is not going to be possible to get the pet back because they are either going to have to relocate or they just leave town suddenly and we just don’t hear from them again. But I would say at least fifty percent or more do go back to the original owners,” McAloon said.
Currently there are no pets from domestic violence situations at McKamey, but they are prepared to help when one does come through.
If you would like to donate to the Angel Fund, click here.